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It is no

calamity of an ignorant, ill-tempered, or profane teacher. trivial arbitrament to decide whether a school shall be a blessing or a nuisance, and therefore the question of a teacher's fitness is not to be guessed at, but solemnly pondered. If the husbandman by any effort of body or of mind, by toil or supplication, could foredoom and predestinate what sort of seasons should spread mildew and barrenness over his fields and leave him empty granaries, or, what should make his pastures luxuriant and heap his garners ; he surely would not be content with conjecture, with superficial and scanty inquiry or with hasty decisions . And yet what the seasons are to the fields and crops of the farmer, the teacher is to the children of the school. Nay, more ; he is season and cultivation also. No part, therefore, of the examination of applicants for schools is form. It is all substance.

The following important remarks refer to school books.

“ Another duty of the town committee is that of directing what books shall be used in the schools. There is a public evil of great magnitude in the multiplicity and diversity of elementary books. They crowd the market and infest the schools. One would suppose there might be uniformity in rudiments at least ; yet the greatest variety prevails. Some books claim superiority because they make learning easy, and others, because they make it difficult. All decry their predecessors, or profess to have discovered new and better modes of teaching. By a change of books a child is often obliged to unlearn what he had laboriously acqnired before. In many important particulars, the pronunciation the orthography and the syn tax of our language changes, according to the authority consulted. Truth and philosophy, in regard to teaching, assume so many shapes, that common minds begin to doubt, whether there be truth or philosophy under any. The advantages of cheapness, resulting from improvements in the art of printing, are intercepted from the public to whom they rightfully belong, and divided among compilers. Over this, as an expensive public mischief, as a general discouragement to learning, and as a misfortune of the Commonwealth, town committees have no control. But it is still in their power, and it is an important and substantial part of their duty, as enjoined by law, " direct what books shall be used in the several schools” in their respective towns. When the committee fail in directing what books shall be used, a way is opened for the introduction of books which are expressly prohibited by law, as “calculated to favor the tenets of particular sects of christians. Under such omission, also, the school house may cease to be neutral ground between those different portions of society, now so vehemently contending against each other on a variety of questions of social and national duty. Instances of both kinds have occurred, and were, under such circumstances, to be expected; because it is the nature of extreme views

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to make all other truths bow down before the idolized truth. But the liability and the temptation should be cut off. Would the disciple of hostile doctrines look forward, and foresee to what results a breach of the truce in regard to the school-room must infalliby lead, it seems scarcely credible, that each should not agree, in good faith, to refrain from every attempt to pre-occupy the minds of school children with his side of vexed and complicated questions, whether of state or theology; and that all should not concur, in regard to an evil so self-propagating and ruinous, in enforcing measures, which would bar out the possibility of its occurrence.

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The importance of visiting schools is thus commented on,

“ Another important duty enjoined upon school committees is the visitation of the schools. Such visitations may be a moral incitement to the scholars of great efficacy. Advice, encouragement, affectionate persuasion, coming from such of their townsmen as the children have been accustomed to regard with respect or veneration, will sink deep and remain long in their hearts.

Wise counsel from acknowledged superiors makes a deep impress.

It comes with the momentum of a heavy body, falling from a great height. The same counsel, if the same could be had, from men, whom the children hold in no respect or esteem, might be remembered only to be ridiculed. The visitations of the committee break in upon the monotony of the school. They spur the slothful and reward the emulous and aspiring. To suppose, that the children in a school wlll ever feel a keen, impulsive interest in learning, while parents and neighbors are disregardful of it, is to suppose the children to be wiser than the men. The stimulus of acting under the public eye, though an inferior motive, is still an allowable one, amongst adults. To the mind of the sworn officer, is it not more present than his oath? Do not much of the uprightness and thoroughness brought to the discharge of public duties, depend upon their being performed under public inspection? And why, in regard to children, may we not avail ourselves of this innate sentiment as an auxiliary in the attainment of knowledge ; always holding it subordinate to the supreme sentiment of duty ? I have heard hundreds of teachers, with one voice, attest its utility. Such visitations by the committee, are not less useful to teachers than to pupils. hile all due respect should be accorded to teachers—and certainly no class in the community are more deserving both of emolument and of social consideration, than they-yet, as our school system is now administered, we are not authorised to anticipate any more fidelity and strenuousness in the fulfilment of duty from them, than from the same number of persons engaged in any reputable employment. This state employs, annually, in the common schools, more than three thousand teachers, at an expense of more than four_hundred and sixty-five thousand dollars, raised by direct taxation. But they

have not one-thousandth part the supervision which watches the same number of persons, having the care of cattle or spindles or of the retail of shop goods. Who would retain his reputation, not for prudence, but for sanity, if he employed men on his farm or in his factory, or clerks in his counting room, month after month, without oversight and even without inquiry? In regard to what other service, are we so indifferent, where the remuneration swells to such an aggregate ?”

As the State of Kentucky is about establishing a system of common schools, such topics as those above discussed are peculiarly interesting. We must pass by at present, the remainder of the Report, hoping to notice again this exceedingly valuable document. We add however, a selection of a few of the facts and brief remarks which it contains.

With all the defects of the present school system in Massachusetts, the Secretary considers its advantages vastly to preponderate.

In two-thirds of the towns in Massachusetts, the law directing every teacher to obtain a certificate of qualifications from the school committee before opening the school, is neglected,

In about an hundred towns the committee neglect directing what books shall be used in the school, as required by law.

The law requires that when children are not provided with books by their parents, they shall be supplied by the town. But this has been neglected in about forty towns.

The whole number of children in 294 towns in Massachusetts between four and sixteen, are

177,053. Those who attend private schools, about

12,000. Whole number of all ages attending school in winter,

141,837. Do.

do,

in summer, 122,889. Average attendance in winter,

111,520. Average attendance in summer,

94,956. It is made by law the duty of the school committee to visit the schools from time to time. This is attended to only in fifty or sixty towns out of three hundred and five.

The school committees recieve compensation for their services and expenses only in about one-fifth part of the towns. and in these only about a quarter of the lowest price of day labor.

We see from these facts, the tendency of every school system, however excellent in itself, to run down and flatten, (as

the chorister's say) except it is constantly watched. In some towns in Massachusetts no improvement has taken place for two hundred years.

2. A Sermon delivered at the ordination of the Rev. John Parkman, to the Pastoral care of the Third Congregational Church, Greenfield, Mass. By Francis Parkman, D. D., Minister of the New North Church, Boston.

This sermon treats of the spirit of the christian ministry, and the condition of the times in relation to it. It laments, very justly, the feeble and fluctuating state of many religious societies in New England, where divisions have crept in. It also warns us against an undue love of excitement in religious matters. It then goes on to speak of the peculiar duties of the christian ministry, at the present times.

The sermon is an excellent one, and contains much wholesome admonition. And yet, we might not have thought it necessary in discoursing to Unitarians, to exhort them against. multiplying too much the occasional services of religion. We are not particularly acquainted with the state of things in Franklin county, but in our own experience we have never found the conference, or evening lecture, so crowded as to endanger the interests of the sabbath. There are occasions, we imagine, in which it is well” to saddle our ass, and go to Mt. Carmel, though it be "neither new moon, nor sabbath.” It is well to have some place where the Pastor may meet those of his flock whose minds are more than usually interested in religious subjects, and speak to them in a more easy and direct manner than is consonant with the services of the sabbath. It is well also, that there should be some meeting, call it a teachers' meeting, a bible class, an inquiry meeting, or what you will, where the anxious and truth-seeking mind may have its difficulties answered, its doubts removed, and where heart may answer heart, as in water face answers face. It seems to us, that in our denomination, we have too few rather than too many such meetings. We think the interest of the sabbath exercises would be increased, rather than diminished, by such occasional meetings.

In fact, we suppose we have not much of that attachment to the good old ways, and dread of innovation, which possesses many of our brethren. We see no great harm in an evening lecture, though the church may never before have had a candle

or lamp in it. Neither do we dread that men will think too much about religion, or become too original in their views of christianity. It is so much easier to care for none of these things, to slide along the good old path, to repeat by rote old saws of theology and morality, instead of striving to see with our own eyes, hear with our own ears, and understand with our own hearts—that we are ever more afraid of drowsiness, than of too great earnestness of feeling or thought.

3. A view of American Unitarian Missions ; with thoughts on the Missionary Cause, and the interest of Unitarians in it. By A. C. Patterson.

We are glad to see that our friend Patterson, when he left Buffalo, was taken from us only in presence, not in heart. We are truly delighted with the appearance of this little tract, and though we have not had time to peruse it, we cannot but express our gratitude to God, that the time has come in which as Unitarians we can speak of missions without the apprehension of displeasing our readers. Within a few years a wide and deepening interest has been taken in the subject by Unitarians, and though as yet we have hardly done any thing as a body, yet there is every evidence that we shall soon put our hand to this plough with energy and faith. The following table contains as nearly as was possible an estimate of the past expenditures for missions in our denomination. Evangelical Missionary Society,

$18,924 American Unitarian Association,

7,511 Missions in India,

1,075 Ministry at large in Boston,

13,450 New York,

7,800 Warren Street Chapel,

1,600 Plymouth, Kingston, and Duxbury Association,

450

$50,810

4. Discourse occasioned by the recent Duel in Washington. By Henry Ware, Jr. Delivered in the Chapel of Harvard University.

The late sad affair at Washington has called out a general expression of grief, shame and indignation, which shows that there is a moral feeling left in the community which will some

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